Keith Holmes throws his hat into the ring

Photo of Keith Holmes


N8N continues its series of profiles on candidates for local body elections.

We share a Q & A with Tauhei’s Keith Holmes, who is running for Waikato Regional Council in the Waikato General Constituency.

Keith’s history of governance includies six years on the Waikato Regional Council Lower – Waikato Constituency. He currently chairs the Lower Waikato Zone Committee.

He has also been involved with the Integrated Catchment Committee and the Tauhei Flood Protection Scheme.

What did your career look like 10 years ago?
Farming, family and full on.

What motivates you daily?
The will to make a positive difference.

What advice would you give your younger self?
Don’t waste your time, life is too short and too precious.

What will you bring to council that is unique?
The ability to see the ‘bigger’ picture, to lead and to govern as in governance. I hope to balance bureaucracy with hard-nosed pragmatism. I will work relentlessly with councillors and staff to drive accountability, value authentic science and represent all people with equality, honesty and integrity.

Guardianship of our region demands we have vision to balance the needs of society, the environment and to generate wealth for all our communities and whanau. We must never lose sight of this, it is the community’s money, not ours we are using.

What’s an accomplishment you’re most proud of?
That I am the product of a Welfare State that gave me, a city kid with nothing, the opportunity to grow, to learn, to prosper, share-milk, to buy a farm and have my own family.

Who are the biggest influences in your life?
My parents, John Kneebone, Wally Smith (Waikato Federated Farmers Farm Cadet Scheme), Sir Dryden Spring, George Hopa, Harry Ward (YFC) and many others.

If you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Dr Rod McDonald, medical doctor and rugby coach at Massey University. He mentored me through the ‘bumpy’ road of youth, to be uniquely ‘me’ and proud of it.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing business leaders today?
We are in the age of complexity where societal pressures must be balanced with the need to make good profits.

What will one of your focuses be if you are elected?
Governance – without good governance (a very unsexy subject!) we will not be able to achieve our dreams. With good governance we can get the correct balance of the Resource Management Act. By making sure the three legs of the RMA ‘Stool’ of Healthy Environment, Healthy Communities and Healthy Economy are given the correct ‘symbiotic’ balance. I hope to balance this vision with affordability, and build a culture of care.




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Number 8 Network - a community website for the rural areas northeast of Hamilton, NZ, is run by Gordonton journalist/editor Annette Taylor.

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